PARK CITY — If you're on the scene when someone is badly injured, the first step is to ensure your own safety. If you get injured, you can't help and will even make the things worse, Janet Cortez said.
After that, follow the ABCs:
A — Alert 911.
B — Locate the bleeding.
C — Apply compression.
Those are the basics taught by Stop the Bleed, an international outreach campaign. Cortez and Zach Robinson, both of University of Utah Hospital's trauma outreach program, offered the training to an auditorium full of Sundance Film Festival employees as part of a new partnership between the hospital and the festival.
University of Utah Health spokesman Noman Khan said the partnership is "a way for us to expand our reach into our community and make sure we're there for them."
Attendance at the internationally recognized film festival jumped from 71,000 in 2017 to 125,000 in 2018 — which may have been partially due to new and improved tracking technology.
With so many visitors from around the world, Khan said, safety is of utmost concern — especially because many aren't used to walking on snow and ice.
"We're trying to live up to our motto: We care for Utah like Utah cares for each other," he explained. And if anyone, local or visitor, is injured, Khan said University of Utah Health wants to "make sure they are taken care of the Utah way."
The 2019 film festival will begin Jan. 24 and end Feb. 3.
As festival staffers prepared for the event Wednesday, the life-saving presentation focused on what Cortez and Robinson called "bleeding control."
"That's where people can save lives," Robinson said. "If someone's profusely bleeding, they have about a five-minute window. And what we did today was arm a lot of the festival staff with some tools to help them in that five minutes."
The Sundance staff in attendance learned how to stop or slow "life-threatening" bleeding.
In life-threatening situations, Cortez and Robinson instructed listeners to remove the injured person's clothing that covers the wound or surrounding area. Then, the instructors said, the three main actions an average citizen can take to save a life are applying a tourniquet, packing the wound and applying pressure.
Robinson said medical professionals are moving away from an old belief that tourniquets should only be used as a last resort.1 comment on this story
"When I went to paramedic school, I was taught that if you put them on an arm or a leg, it's just going to fall off. That's not the case anymore, and that's really the reason why we're pushing this program so hard," he said. "We want to change that culture of the tourniquet. The tourniquet is an awesome piece of equipment that can really help save somebody's life."
In any of the three cases, Robinson said, the most important thing is constant pressure — keep the tourniquet on or keep pressing as hard as you can until paramedics arrive.